Finally ‘Home’

Søren Bebe Trio’s new album, ‘Home’, was released this week. “I’m incredibly proud of this record; in fact, I think it’s our best album yet” says Søren, who had the recording mixed by the legendary Jan Erik Kongshaug at his famous Rainbow Studio in Oslo.

  •  Get your copy of “Home” at iTunes (download) or Bandcamp (physical + download)

“Jan Erik is the engineer who has shaped the sound of the iconic ECM label, and he’s recorded and mixed countless masterpieces” Søren explains. “My biggest musical hero, Keith Jarrett, is just one of the many artists who’s relied on Jan Erik’s golden ears for most of his discography.”

Why is the album called ‘Home’? “The day it was pre-released, my family and I bought a new home, although that was just a coincidence! The real reason is that this record is the first time I’ve actually been ‘true’ to my artistic vision. ‘Home’ is a quiet, slow album – the kind I’ve always wanted to make but didn’t have the guts to do.”

“For years I’ve been inspired by musicians like guitarist Jakob Bro, pianist Tord Gustavsen, bass player Charlie Haden and composer Arvo Pärt for their very clear artistic choices and integrity. But I felt I had to show more – maybe even to show off more – rather than have the confidence to do what comes naturally. So, in this sense, the new album makes me feel like I’m finally ‘home’.”

There are 11 tracks on ‘Home’, all original Søren compositions, although the Trio actually recorded a total of 15. Jan Erik Kongshaus mixed these four out-takes too, three of which are now available exclusively to Søren’s Bandcamp VIP supporters. The fourth, a Charlie Haden song called ‘First Song’, can be downloaded by subscribers to Søren’s newsletter.

Like the music itself, the artwork for ‘Home’ is deliberately scaled down and simple, and there isn’t much text. So, for listeners who’d like to know where the compositions come from, Søren provides some background:

1) The Path to Somewhere: “A wise person once told me: ‘If you want to go and sit in another chair, you first have to get up from the one you’re sitting in right now. You can’t sit on two chairs at the same time’. As simple as it is, this phrase stuck with me. In other words, if you want change, you have to sacrifice something and be willing to experience the unknown for a while. This means taking a new path without knowing exactly where it’s leading.”

2) Tango for T: “This is my homage to the wonderful Norwegian pianist, Tord Gustavsen. I didn’t know anything about his work until three years ago when, in almost every review of my own music, I was starting to read things like ‘He knows his Tord Gustavsen’, or ‘Søren Bebe is a pianist who’s absorbed all Gustavsen’s albums’. Honestly, I had no idea who Tord was – although but I’m pretty sure we grew up listening to some of the same stuff. So, naturally, I had to find out what he was all about. The result is that I’ve come to love Tord’s music and sound.”

3) Trieste: “This song is dedicated to the city and the wonderful people of Trieste, Italy. We got an invitation to perform there as part of ‘Le Nuove Rotte del Jazz’ festival in 2015. It turned out to be one of my biggest concert experiences in recent years: a packed house, a fine piano and a beautiful audience – not to mention the lovely Italian food and wine. It deserved a song.”

4) Tyst: “This is an old Danish word that means ‘quietly’.”

5)  A Simple Song: “I wrote this melody rather quickly and for some time thought it was too simple. In the studio, Anders and Kasper came up with a Cuban-style groove which gives a nice balance to this ‘simple’ song.”

6) Haarlem Landscape: “This is a song that’s been with me for years. It was originally part of a suite commissioned by the National Gallery of Denmark for an exhibition in 2011 – a suite that I co-wrote with my good friend the Danish singer Ditte Rønn, and our duo, ‘RØST’.”

7) Time: “I turned 40 last year. It was a big eye-opener and a reminder of how quickly the years pass.”

8) Floating: “The title refers not only to the floating character of the song, but also the wonderful feeling of being ‘in flow’ with the music.”

9) Look Out Now: “The song keeps shifting halfway between two different time signatures: 4/4 and 3/4. It seemed a natural thing to do with the melody – but you have to look out when improvising.”

10) Home: “I’ll leave this blank for listeners to fill out!”

11) Tak: “’Tak’ is Danish for ‘Thank you’. I’m grateful every day for my family, for our health and for being able to make music. And I’m so thankful for the fact that there are people out there listening to and supporting me. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Date posted: 3 November 2016

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